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Daily Kos: Boehner denies he demanded tax cuts for wealthy. Source says it's 'on paper'

Daily Kos: Boehner denies he demanded tax cuts for wealthy. Source says it's 'on paper' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This is not going well for Boehner.
Earlier ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is not a small issue. If he is lying to the American people, what does that mean? Oh, he's a politician. Right.

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Joshua, one boy's effect on my thinking about abortion

Joshua, one boy's effect on my thinking about abortion | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After almost 50 years I choose to share a profound experience.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For some time, I've been working on an essay about abortion. I hope you'll take the time to read it. The link is: 

http://www.kennethweene.com/joshua ;

Yes, it is a true story, one that it has taken almost fifty years for me to share. Why? Because of the profound effect it had on my soul. If, however, you have read Memoirs From the Asylum, you have seen it reflected there. 
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A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is 'Ground Zero.'

A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is 'Ground Zero.' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Inside three Georgia counties that have struggled to keep their hospitals ― and futures ― alive.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When I was a kid, it was a stated goal of government to help small farmers. America still believed in her rural past even as people migrated to the cities. I was fortunate enough to grow up partly in both, urban Boston and rural Maine. I could see the advantages and disadvantages of both. However, one problem that the rural areas didn't have in those days was an absence of health care. Partly because providing care was less expensive—no such things as MRIs and PET-scans. Fewer specialists, too. Partly, though, because the rural areas were still thriving. Many counties could afford to have a small hospital and plenty of doctors wanted to live in those small towns. And—and this is a big difference—transportation was more of a problem so people tended to stay in smaller patches of the world. We, for example, were considered something of an oddity among our neighbors in Maine, people who actually lived in two places over 150 miles apart, as opposed to the fellow with a summer cabin by the lake and the old farm house twenty minutes away. 

In those days, counties were perhaps more important to the process of government and life. The importance of such local government was paramount in people's minds, which is one reason that town meetings were so important and well-attended. Today, only those who are in county government and "Reconstructionist Christians" give county government that emphasis. Most of us recognize that planning and spending are better done at a larger level, especially in rural areas. In places like Suffolk County in Massachusetts, which is dominated by Boston, or Maricopa in Arizona, which is mostly the metro-Phoenix area, county government actually can be more efficient than city, but that's a special if important distinction between rural and urban. 

Getting back to the folks in the country. More and more they are fewer, older, and poorer. Desperately trying to hold on to the quality of life of the past, they fight to keep schools, hospitals, and businesses from closing. Meanwhile, more and more of America is becoming the great territory of the fly-over. As this demographic change takes place, many in government want to walk away from the costs of services. For example, let's cut postal service and the number of post offices. Obviously, that will affect more country folks than urban. Let's not spend so much on road maintenance, again the urban roads and the throughways will be taken care of while those small "upstate" roads will deteriorate. 

I don't have simple answers as to what to do. There are some suggestions in terms of medical centers in this article that are worth considering, but over time, fewer and fewer people will be left in those small hamlets that once dotted America. The other day I saw that work is beginning on the interstate that will connect Phoenix and Las Vegas. Let's bring the cities together and make business easier; it's a no-brainer. Then I thought of the little unincorporated town of Wikieup. It's a neat little place on route 93 that pretty much exists to service people driving the current rather long route. It isn't that I love to stop in Wikieup, not even on the few times that I actually do drive between the two cities. Still, it made me think of my childhood in Maine and, well, the wonder of living in a place where everyone knows everyone and where people played checkers down at Maynard't store. 

If you'd like to read more about my Maine, try Broody New Englander. My guess is that you'll find yourself in love with a time and place. 
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What Happened? America's Political Axis Tilted. | RealClearPolitics

What Happened? America's Political Axis Tilted. | RealClearPolitics | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- Leaders of both major parties are wrong to think of the 2016 election as some kind of fluke. I believe a political realignment is underway, and those who fail to discern it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I think Eugene Robinson has gotten much of this right, but misses the real issue that gnaws at the heart of so many, fear of the future. Americans no longer see themselves as having the capacity to improve life, only the fear of what is coming be the ravishes of age and illness, climate change, terrorism, or strangers from other lands. When hope fades and fear increases, people look for solutions, even to problems that may not exist. Worst of all, they can no longer consider that they are themselves causing the very things they fear the most so goblins and malevolent must be found. In such a world it is too easy to cry witch and devil. I wonder if the next generation of political leaders will be expected to wear bird masks to keep away the plague. Assuredly, we are entering a new dark age, one in which anger, superstition, and fear rein.

My suggestion, find good books to read. Just go for some quiet time and grow your mind. What else could I recommend? How about starting at http://www.kennethweene.com 
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Opinion | A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech

Opinion | A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new survey shows that people from across the political spectrum are astonishingly willing to shut down free speech.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not sure that Americans have ever really believed in free speech. Something about tar and feathers comes to mind. Still, it is an ideal which I personally strongly support. If we aren't willing to talk about our differences, then we will surely find ourselves fighting about them. Of course, we have as a society become less and less willing to actually listen to what is being said anyway. Consider the crowds at the Lincoln-Douglas Debates or the numbers who once went to church and sat through long sermons. Now, we want no more than 140 characters. Perhaps, this needs to be addressed in our educational institutions. I would question if anyone should be allowed to graduate from college if they can't understand an opinion that is odds with something they believe. 

As an author, I often try to challenge beliefs and stereotypes. Sometimes it amazes me that readers can't understand that I don't have to agree with my characters only to respect their right to have their say. If every story had to reflect my positions, there would be very few stories indeed. One example, El Catrin. This dandy of a story delves into religious beliefs far removed from my own.Check out the trailer.
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3 arrested during protest at Georgia Tech after vigil

3 arrested during protest at Georgia Tech after vigil | Upsetment | Scoop.it

ATLANTA (AP) — Three people were arrested Monday night during a protest after a vigil for a Georgia Tech student who was fatally shot by campus police, a university spokesman said
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder how the police department involved and the courts will handle this case. First, we have a clear issue of mental health and second an officer who was handling the situation properly. So, when another officer discharged his weapon, what could his rationalization have been? Obviously, there is something wrong that the protest got so out of hand, but again I wonder if the police could have handled that better by making it clear that there would be a proper investigation. Hopefully, there will be and a determination of the legality or criminality of firing that gun.

Then there is the painful question of our times: If this student had been Black would the final outcome of such an inquiry be the same. Of course, we can never know that, but it pains me that such a question is always sitting there. I have said before that Black Lives Matter. Gay (and other groups') Lives Matter. In fact all lives matter even if the person doesn't fit into my box or yours. 

So, can we better train cops? Can we offer more help to those who need it? Can we make this a better and more just society? Can Ken Weene stop dreaming? 
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EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study

EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Exclusive: EU’s food safety watchdog recommended that glyphosate was safe but pages of report were identical to application from pesticide maker
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not a biochemist and can't speak to the safety of glyphosphate, but I am an observer of the world and I do know that such reliance of government on industry is definitely unsafe. More and more agencies all around the world are enthralled by and in bed with the industries they are supposed to be regulating. Regulation exists to protect us from the propensity of companies to put profit ahead of the common weal. Shame on the EU agency for simply cutting and pasting the company's findings and let's give a loud cheer for The Guardian, which did what a free press is supposed to do, watch out for and report what is actually going down. 

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The great nutrient collapse

The great nutrient collapse | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It isn't just that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect the climate, it also affects the nutrient quality of our food—and by the way the food of other species including honeybees. Even as factory-farming pushes up the sugar levels in our veggies in order to raise yields, nature is causing all plants to increase the amount of sugar at the price of protein. One suggestion from me, try to eat low carb diet because you're going to get lots of carbohydrates anyway. And, please don't take a bee to lunch but do try to plant the flowers they can best utilize. 
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45,000 Evacuated Across Russia After Wave of Bomb Threats

45,000 Evacuated Across Russia After Wave of Bomb Threats | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated from airports, schools and government buildings across Russia, including an iconic department store on Red Square, amid a wave of fake bomb threats that officials called unprecedented.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While there seems to be some confusion about the numbers and absolutely no idea of the perpetrators, there is clearly an organized campaign to create fear and trembling going on it Russia. Is it a prank, a precursor to real attacks, or possibly some kind of disinformation campaign from either the Russian government or from some outside agency. Boy, this is a great beginning situation for a novel. If you like to read about crime and government shenanigans, why not get a copy of Times To Try the Soul of Man. Based on true events and real crimes, it's a book designed to entertain and to upset. 
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We're All a Little Plastic on the Inside - D-brief

We're All a Little Plastic on the Inside - D-brief | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Studies have found tiny bits of degraded plastic in everything from your honey to your beer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So if you are what you eat and we're all consuming bits of plastic, does that mean we are becoming plastic people or will we be reincarnated as baggies? Something to thing about next time you grab those disposable bags at the supermarket or dump the shrink-wrap from your latest purchase. One way to avoid adding to the earth's clutter and debris is to spend more time reading. At least that will give you ideas in your head instead of micro-bits of plastic in your gut. Here's a great spot to find some good books. 
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The Disturbing Paradox of Presidential Power

The Disturbing Paradox of Presidential Power | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Disturbing Paradox of Presidential Power « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I found this piece extremely interesting. While many argued that Mr. Obama's policy of DACA was unconstitutional and while Congress demanded he not close Guantanamo, Mr. Trump is engaging in acts that while completely within the "acceptable limits" of presidential authority actually raise questions about what that authority should be and what expectations we should have about a president's actions. For example, is it okay for him to share security secrets with the ambassadors of other countries? Is announcing new military policy on Twitter acceptable? I recommend that you read the piece and hope you'll share your thoughts. 
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Kill all, burn all: Myanmar troops borrow Japanese war tactic

Kill all, burn all: Myanmar troops borrow Japanese war tactic | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Tatmadaw troops ‘not schooled in the niceties of human rights’
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In case you've been wondering about what's going on in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and exactly who are these "awful" Islamic terrorists whom the army are fighting, well here's the information/ urns out that the weakest, poorest people who happen to have a different religion are being persecuted by the Buddhist majority in this country that has long been known for its militarism and repression. Perhaps it is time for the world to speak out before this group of about one million people is wiped out. There great crime, that they live there at all. You see, the Burman-Buddhists don't recognize their right to even me considered part of the country, 

In case you haven't noticed. Muslims aren't always the bad guys or the terrorists. 
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'I Am Done With Being a Candidate.' Hillary Clinton Rules Out Another Campaign

'I Am Done With Being a Candidate.' Hillary Clinton Rules Out Another Campaign | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Hillary Clinton has ruled out another run for office, but don't expect her to leave the political stage. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Buried in this interview is one of the great problems that Hillary faced and never overcame, the sense that she was entitled to the presidency. What she thought about was how she would live as POTUS, for example by buying a house for her presidential staff near the family home. She never actually thought that much about how the people would be living. If she had time to plan house purchasing, why did she not have some serious plans for how to improve Obamacare or how to proceed in dealing with North Korea or how to move forward in Syria. What was her view on student debt (before Bernie Sanders brought it up) or higher education? I don't think that great leaders think first about themselves but rather about their people. Consider the great generals who have led armies; they always made their soldiers feel that they were special, that the general felt honored to be among them. Sadly, this last presidential election was between two narcissists and the greater narcissist one. Now ain't we in the one-holder?
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Uncontacted Tribe Allegedly Massacred By Gold Miners In Brazil

Uncontacted Tribe Allegedly Massacred By Gold Miners In Brazil | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The miners reportedly bragged about the slaughter.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is little that disgusts me as much as the murder of indigenous peoples by the greedy. I hope that these "miners" are fed to piranha, but know that they will probably never even be arrested. 

By the way, have you watched the YouTube video of In My Father's House There Are Many Murders. It's my attempt to give voice to those who suffer at the hands of such greedy men. 
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A Federal Agency Just Put America's Solar Power Industry in Danger

A Federal Agency Just Put America's Solar Power Industry in Danger | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The future of solar power in the U.S. was thrown into question by a closely watched International Trade Commission ruling
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Here we see the pros and cons of globalizing the economy in clear relief. On the one hand, we have American producers of solar panels, companies that are having trouble competing with companies from China, saying they should get tariff relief. On the other hand, we have the rest of the solar industry, consider all those companies installing panels, saying that raising the prices of panels would cost jobs and raise prices for energy. Then too, remember that the fossil fuel companies don't particularly want us switching to renewables like solar. 

Now, I'm not saying that The International Trade Commission is on the take, but I do wonder why they are putting a couple of businesses that have not proven themselves effective competitors ahead of the rest of the industry and consumers. If the goal is to create a domestic solar panel industry that can compete and offer as good a product at prices that are competitive with China's, perhaps there should be some exploration of why American costs are higher and quality lower. Then, if the government wants to offer some financial help to those companies so they can improve, I would think that might be reasonable. To protect them against their own foibles is not something that is in America's best interests. 

Of course, I've long been shouting that our government isn't necessarily interested in acting in the best interest of our country. Rather, it seems that many in government are more interested in protecting the status quo or worse getting in bed with criminals. 

Which brings up Times To Try the Soul of Man. Have you read it? 
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Sparta, Rome, Athens: A rant on the state of America's Politics.

Sparta, Rome, Athens: A rant on the state of America's Politics. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
if America needs more guns to stave off the Iranian bombs that are falling from the sky, then better to fund star wars than to repair our roads and bridges: Yeah, some sarcasm here. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Evidently, or at least according to Congress, America's military is in great need of funding. With the endless war in Afghanistan and the crashes of ships in the Pacific to say nothing of the possibility of raining bombs on North Korea, clearly the military-industrial-espionage complex needs all the funding it can get. Maybe, that's why we can't afford single-payer healthcare or better staffing at the VA. Maybe that's why we can't have free college educations and why we have to cut back on our nationally protected lands. Assuredly, if America needs more guns to stave off the Iranian bombs that are falling from the sky, then better to fund star wars than to repair our roads and bridges. However, for those who actually believe this hokum, for those who believe that we must become a fortress state. I would ask one question: How's that been doing for us so far? Is the world better off? Are we? Just wondering.

Now, if you agree with me that the militarism of America is the greatest threat in the world, far greater than ISIS, North Korea, Iran, or even Mexican laborers crossing the border, might I suggest it is time to change our approach to our government. Maybe it's time to start a third party, one that is beholden not to the lobbyists in Washington and the funds of industry but to the voter. Quite simply, if we all refused to vote for any candidate who didn't transparently and honestly reveal their sources of funding, that might make a difference. If we all insisted on campaign expense limits so that those massive contributions couldn't be used, that, too, might make a difference. Finally, if we required that every candidate for whom we voted make clear statements about their positions and require them under pain of recall to explain any deviations from those policy commitments, that might also make a difference. 

Let us remember that the great armies of Sparta and of Rome are not what history glorifies so much as the contribution of Athens, that which we today call democracy. While we should honor those who serve in time of danger, we should not lose sight of what it is they are supposed to be serving, we the people. 
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World hunger rises after decades of decline

World hunger rises after decades of decline | Upsetment | Scoop.it

The number of hungry people in the world grew to 815 million in 2016. That’s up by 38 million from the previous year, according to a new report from the United Nations.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Between the rising tide of violence and climate change it is growing every harder for humans to find food. Complicating the picture is the growth in obesity due to the spread of high-calorie junk food. Candy cannot take the place of a good diet. Will another species someday have to create preserves where humans can live the same way that China is now protecting pandas? 

Meanwhile, after a great weekend in Tucson, I came back three pounds heavier but happily fed, which goes to show that even an intelligent human can be misled by his tastebuds. Well, maybe not as intelligent as he thinks. 

Anyway, let's try to make good decisions not only about diet but also about how we treat the earth and one another. 
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These companies support the Paris Agreement. They also support climate deniers.

These companies support the Paris Agreement. They also support climate deniers. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A tale of political spending and unintended consequences.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is a sad commentary on America that for many of our elected officials government has ceased to matter and loyalty to party, which is the source of wealth and power, has taken the place of loyalty to country. Just one more reason that I keep hoping for a third party, one that will put commitment to the people ahead of itself. Can we grow beyond the present darkness? 
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Row over sexual abuse letter brings down Iceland’s government

Row over sexual abuse letter brings down Iceland’s government | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Country is facing second snap election in a year after party in ruling coalition quits over alleged cover-up involving PM’s father
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love the idea that there can be a way to restore some civil liberties of convicted felons, but I wouldn't give a man who routinely raped his  stepdaughter the right to eat the garbage from a dumpster. On the other hand, in this case is it the son's responsibility to keep his father from writing such a letter of support even if that son is the prime minister. One thing I'd love to hear is the dinner discussion between the politician and his father. I would guess that dad is feeling pretty dumb about now. So would you write a letter to support my regaining my civil rights? Not that I've been a felon, but in general what do you think about such a process?
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U.S. Military: American Fighting for ISIS ‘Surrenders’

U.S. Military: American Fighting for ISIS ‘Surrenders’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The U.S. citizen fighting for ISIS was captured in Syria, a well-placed source told The Beast. It’ll be a crucial test for the Trump administration on handling wartime detentions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The capture of an American citizen who has been fighting for ISIS raises some serious questions about policy for an administration that has been rather short on details or even coherent broad positions. First, has the man actually broken US law? If he has not engaged in any actions against Americans and has been fighting in what amounts to a civil war, hmm? Consider those Americans who have fought for say the Lincoln Brigade in Spain or maybe those who volunteered in WW2 before the US was directly involved. How about those CIA provided fighters in Central America and Afghanistan? Second, while it is the military that's involved with ISIS, does that remove the right to proper criminal trials? If somebody is in the process of being an enemy combatant, perhaps it is justified for the military to kill them, but once they are captured? These are not easy questions. 

Sticking them away in Guantanamo and maybe adding a bit of torture does sound inviting as an easy solution. However, I believe that that due process and criminal trial are the only way to go. First, if the trial is done properly, it might actually get the realities across to people, both those of the price of being a terrorist but also the reasons that people might make that choice. Second, it affirms our nation as a country of law, although honestly that hasn't always been the case. Third, it focuses us as a nation on what proper criminal law should look like. I would only ask that such a trial be public, transparent, and that there be meaningful discussion of issues not just technicalities of law. 

Meanwhile, if you want to consider the nastiness of the world that produces terrorism, might I suggest you read Times To Try the Soul of Man. 
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What Would Happen If You Just Let Kids Swear?

What Would Happen If You Just Let Kids Swear? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Would letting your children use bad words, well, be so bad?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We need prohibited words so that we can use them to express anger and during the heat of sexuality. As a society we need them to provide a vehicle for social controversy and the process of change; consider the roles of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. Historically, when prohibited words reach common usage, new prohibited words come forth. That is one reason I worry about some of today's politically correct speech. Words that are being driven underground may well come to replace the curses of my youth. Shit, fuck and the like will be replaced by the N word, Red Neck, and other racial and ethnic slurs, many of which I find truly offensive. Still, it is the nature of life. I believe, although I have no actual evidence, that cunt came into play because vagina was considered obscene. In fact, I know one youngster who recently got in trouble for using a word that I had never heard before. "Well, Ken," he explained to me, "we aren't allowed to use bitch or cunt, so I found a synonym." Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for the boy, the teacher had heard that new derogatory word. 

What is my position with kids? I never condemn their choice of words, but I do ask that they know what the words mean, something of their history, and the reality that there are many who will be offended by that word's use, especially in school. 
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Donald Trump Denies DACA Deal, But Doesn't Dispute Its Key Points

Donald Trump Denies DACA Deal, But Doesn't Dispute Its Key Points | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"No deal was made last night," he said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So now the Republicans are realizing that you can't make workable deals with Mr. Trump and it's the Democrats' turn to make asses of themselves. I don't know if the man knows what he is doing from minute to minute, but assuredly talking with him hardly seems to make sense. I do, however, think he never wanted to deport the Dreamers. Instead, he wanted to get yet another uproar going. For my part, I'm glad that there might be an actual law passed to secure the futures of those many fine young men and women who have grown up here even if they were brought here illegally or in some cases were brought legally but then had visa status changed through no fault of their own. Let's remember that immigrants have helped to make our country great. 
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Russia Sought A Broad Reset With Trump, Secret Document Shows

Russia Sought A Broad Reset With Trump, Secret Document Shows | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Russian proposal obtained by BuzzFeed News reveals Moscow’s ambitious plan to break with the past and launch a major rapprochement with the United States.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is exactly the kind of reset that should have taken place at the time of Mr. Obama's election. Instead, his Secretary of State went very much in a different direction, exacerbating relationships with Russia instead of improving them—one reason I consider her incredibly bad at that job. Now, we have another chance to work on an alliance with Russia that would balance the growth of China, but instead of finding common ground we are finding more enmity. I don't know how much Russia was involved in election tampering, but I am certainly willing to believe it went on. The question is should that affect our working relationship with Moscow. Quite simply, I believe that great nations should respect one another's spheres of influence and natural geographic concerns. We had no business interfering in Syria or helping to push Ukraine away from her ties with the Bear. We certainly had no business trying to tie up the uranium in Kazakhstan or otherwise get control of Central Asia's mineral wealth without respecting Russian concerns. Then too, what the devil were we doing in Afghanistan when that country is so clearly a Russian concern? I'm not saying bring back the Soviet Union, a failed notion, but I am saying that Russia and the United States should be friends. Now, on a lighter note, can anybody sing the song from Oklahoma, the one about farmers and ranchers? 
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Trump and the Legend of General Pershing - Islam, pig's blood, and truth

Trump and the Legend of General Pershing - Islam, pig's blood, and truth | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump’s version of John J. Pershing's legacy—in which the early twentieth-century U.S. general stopped terrorism in the Philippines by shooting Islamic insurgents with bullets dipped in pigs blood—is a product of 9/11.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is so easy for Americans to buy into anything that makes us better than them. So, many Americans were quite willing to believe Mr. Trump when he in effect slandered a great American hero and demeaned Muslims everywhere. This article sets the story straight, and that's a far way from Mr. Trump's version. And, while there is some small amount of truth to the idea behind that story, it took place over a hundred years ago in an isolated area of the Philippines, which make it totally inapplicable to today's world. Perhaps it is time for America to stop her narcissistic, self-congratulating historicizing and to start recognizing that we are all more nearly human than otherwise. 
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Laws aim to crack down on fake service dogs

Laws aim to crack down on fake service dogs | Upsetment | Scoop.it
See what happened when CBS News correspondent Don Dahler ordered fake credentials for this border collie
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love animals and have always been amazed at how much good service animals can do. From guide dogs for the blind and hearing assistance animals to those that pick up dropped articles from the floor and yes even some who provide a sense of security for their owners who otherwise are too anxious to function, I consider such service animals to be precious additions to our world. However, when I see a dog in a vest nestled walking around in the grocery store, I want to know that that dog actually is doing something more than smelling the interesting ambiance. When somebody wants to move into our condo complex with a dog that is way over the forty pound limit, I want to know that dog is actually essential for that person's life. 

Sadly, it is incredibly easy to get fake credentials for a pet, especially a dog. And, it is very easy to get a mental health professional to write a note saying that an animals is emotionally essential. I abhor such cheating. Currently Massachusetts is considering a law to make such misrepresentation a crime. Twelve other states have already passed such laws. For my part, I want to respect the well trained service animals and their contribution by stopping the fakes. 

I hope Massachusetts passes that law and that the rest of the states soon follow.
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Scoop: Jeff Sessions' lie detector idea

Scoop: Jeff Sessions' lie detector idea | Upsetment | Scoop.it
He wants to root out leakers on the National Security Council
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Can anybody say tyranny? More and more we in America are finding the workings of our government hidden from our view. Do we not need the same surge of glasnost that helped bring down the Soviet Union? How many bad decisions, immoral actions, and tyrannical acts are to be hidden from "we the people" not only by this administration but by those that have gone before and those to come? Let us encourage at least enough light that you and I can see what the heck is going on and how well our elected officials are doing their jobs. 
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